Social media and political action?

. Publicado en Debate

Christian W. Chun

By Christian W. Chun
Assistant Professor, Department of English
City University of Hong Kong


My workshop entitled “Critical language in action,” conducted in November 2011 at the Occupy Los Angeles encampment at City Hall during the height and frenzy of the Occupy Movement in the U.S., was video-recorded and posted on YouTube a month and a half later. While the actual attendance at the workshop numbered less than a dozen active participants (details are provided in my 2014 book chapter “Reflexivity and critical language education at Occupy LA” in J. B. Clark and Fred Dervin’s Reflexivity in Language and Intercultural Education: Rethinking Multilingualism and Interculturality, published by Routledge), the video itself has now garnered over 2,500 views.

Relaño Pastor: Shame and Pride in Narrative: Mexican Women's Language Experiences at the U.S.-Mexico Border

. Publicado en Publicaciones

relanhopastor2014Relaño Pastor, Ana Maria. Shame and Pride in Narrative: Mexican Women's Language Experiences at the U.S.-Mexico Border. Palgrave MacMillan, 2014.

Shame and Pride in Narrative examines Mexican women's emotionally charged accounts of language-related experiences on and close to the U.S.-Mexican border. Against the backdrop of the dominant language ideology of English monolingualism, the complexity of storytelling practices is explored, along with the emotions, agency, identity construction, social positionings and moral stances revealed in the narratives of Spanish speaking immigrants. The analysis shows how Mexican women in this study engage in an emotional performance of resistance and moralization in narrative. In doing so, they position themselves in relation to exclusionary social practices regulated by nationalism and a monolingual ideology prevalent in parts of the United States. They challenge dominant racializing discourses about Mexican immigration, border enforcement, and the role of the Spanish language in the country. The book reveals the power of narrative, understood as a social practice, to validate and give meaning to people's lives.